Is public charging of an electric vehicle possible for all disabled people?

Is public charging of an electric vehicle possible for all disabled people?   

The automotive industry is moving fast on the development of electric vehicles, and this raises an important question.

Is charging available for disabled people? My personal answer to this is NO. Not today.

Charging stations are set up in high speed in some countries, especially in Norway where I live. Charging connection on the vehicle is placed in different places dependent on the vehicle, some in front, some in rear and some on the side of the vehicle. No standard.







Foto: Elin Høyland 

When you are dependent on a wheelchair, you need space all around the vehicle to be able to move around. There is no standard or regulation today for a layout of public charging stations. Some are designed for parking straight in and out with your front or rear against the charging station, others you park along side, but the space around the vehicle is often limited!     


Foto: from internet                                                       

When it comes to reach the charging cable it could be challenging, they are mounted high up from the ground and not easy to reach from a wheelchair. The cable is thick and heavy, in wintertime it is also harder to bend in the right position so you can be able to plug it in and charge your vehicle. As you can see on the picture below it is not possible for a wheelchair user to get close to a charging station to perform the necessary operation to charge your vehicle.

Foto: from internet

Payment for charging

Payment solutions on the charging stations is another issue. There are different solutions for payment and not all solutions are available on all stations. We have APP based payment, we have RFID based payment or by card. The last two is rarely reachable from a wheelchair. They are often located on the side or front, and often hard to reach from a wheelchair. Does this give wheelchair users the possibility to use electric vehicles, does this give them the same possibilities that people without the need of a wheelchair?

My belief is that this must be on the agenda in all countries that want to stimulate use of electric vehicles.


Arild Saastad

Managing director

Handicare AS, Norway